Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was nominated for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday. The cricket board's acting president CK Khanna said it was a unanimous decision for the board. It's hardly surprising considering the fact that Dhoni is the only Indian captain to have won two world titles (2011 ODI World Cup and 2007 World T20).
The Jharkhand cricketer has scored 9,737 runs in 302 ODIs. He has also played 90 Test matches, notching up 4,876 runs. Dhoni has hit 16 international hundreds (six in Tests and 10 in ODIs) and recently brought up his 100th international fifty.
On the face of it, it looks like a case of better late than ever. However, this is not the first time the BCCI has nominated Dhoni's name for India's third highest civilian award. According to media reports, the 36-year-old's name has already been rejected twice for the same award - in 2013 and 2016. No reasons were furnished by the government for rejecting Dhoni's name.
It's being said that his name may get rejected once again as his name was repeatedly mentioned during the investigation into the infamous 2013 IPL spot-fixing case. Two franchises - Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals - were suspended for two years for the betting activities of their key officials. The former Indian skipper played for CSK in the first eight editions of the IPL.
Dhoni seems to have "lied" during the probe regarding Gurunath Meiyappan’s status in CSK. A ministry official, who was part of the Padma Bhushan award committee last year, informed DNA that as per the Justice Mukul Mudgal-led inquiry committee report, Dhoni had no reservations about accepting the vice-president’s post in India Cements, the company owned by his team’s owner and then president N Srinivasan.
“Moreover, it is also no secret that Dhoni lied before the enquiry committee about accused Gurunath Meiyappan’s status in Chennai Super Kings," the ministry official told DNA.
Without doubt, Dhoni is one of the most loved Indian cricketer, but it seems that his association with CSK would lead to him missing out on the prestigious award once again.
Dhoni has already been conferred with the prestigious Arjuna, Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri awards.
Will he make the cut for the Padma Bhushan? Only time will tell.
Feature image: AFP